Friday, January 23, 2009

Does A Foster Child Have Less Chance of Justice?

A little about four year old Andrew Burd:

"...On October 2, 2006 [foster mother] Hannah Overton claims that Andrew, on yet another eating binge, began demanding more food despite having just eaten. She, not wanting to give into his request for more food decided to put- according to her- a few sprinkles of Zatarain's seasoning in a sippy cup filled with water. Hannah says she then offered the cup to Andrew, who liked the chili flavor and accepted the water. In the hour and a half after he drank the water, Andrew fell gravely ill. He had trouble breathing, vomited and was said to have displayed severe flu like symptoms. Hannah made a series of phone calls, looked up "shock" in her EMT training book, preformed a breathing treatment on him, checked his vital signs, and finally as he fell in and out of conscientiousness an entire hour and a half later- took him to an urgent care facility. She never once called 911.

From the urgent care facility Andrew was taken to a local hospital, as the urgent care was unable to treat his life threatening condition. Hannah would reportedly make comments like 'she knew it was too much' and could be heard praying to God to make Andrew healthy again.

Andrew's life abruptly ended, and an autopsy concluded that he died of sodium (salt) poisoning and listed a secondary contributing factor of blunt force head trauma. Treating health care workers also noticed bruising on Andrew's body, along with a small, circular injury that was festering on his arm. Testing would conclude that Andrew's sodium level was 240mmol prior to receiving any bolo solutions, and that the sore on his arm was consistent with a burn.

The Overton's were arrested in connection with Andrew's death..."

His autopsy listed cause of death as acute sodium poisoning and a secondary cause of blunt force head trauma. He was force feed- as a punishment- around 23 teaspoons of Zatarain's seasoning, the main ingredient being salt.

You have to read this whole story over at Lilo's place. The woman's church has raised over 700,000 in funds for her defense, they started an extensive and very professional looking Free Hannah website, they employed an extensive letter writing campaign designed to discredit those that are convinced of Hannah's guilt and have appealed the murder conviction.

This little one deserves his own advocates. Lilo is asking that we take a few minutes to write the appeals board and/or the prosecutor to show our support in the prosecution of this woman:

"Hannah's conviction is currently under appeal. You can write letters of support for the conviction to the Appeals Court:

13th Court of Appeals: Corpus Christi Site Nueces County Courthouse 901 Leopard, 10th Floor, Corpus Christi, Texas 78401 - Telephone: (361) 888-0416 Fax: (361) 888-0794

And offer letters of support to the DA's Office who prosecuted the case:
District Attorney's office in Corpus Christi -- Or mail them at Nueces District Attorney; 901 Leopard St.; Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

This is a case which requires your attention. Your support for a child who was wrongly denied the right to live, for a conviction that ensured justice was served, for the prosecutors who fought endlessly to give a voice to a victim who could no longer speak for himself. (source)

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